April NCAA Report: Hobey Baker and College Prospects Signing Professional Contracts

Josh Tessler


Photo Courtesy of https://www.inquirer.com


Normally, our April NCAA Report would be centered around the Frozen Four, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA canceled every winter sport collegiate tournament including the Frozen Four and March Madness. For many seniors, this was their last shot to make a run at the Frozen Four and the end of the season will be bittersweet for them. 


While we do not have live games to watch, there still is plenty to talk about. In this month’s NCAA report, I will be focusing on the Hobey Baker Award, collegiate prospects (both undrafted and drafted) who have recently signed contracts with NHL clubs, and which 2020 and 2021 draft-eligible prospects will be playing college hockey next season. 


Hobey Baker Award


On Saturday night at 11 pm EST on ESPN’s SportsCenter, the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced. The three finalists are Jordan Kawaguchi (University of North Dakota), Scott Perunovich (University of Minnesota Duluth, St. Louis Blues prospect) and Jeremy Swayman (University of Maine, Boston Bruins prospect). Kawaguchi is coming off of a stellar junior campaign in which he tallied 45 points in 33 games played. Perunovich mustered up a 40 point season in 34 games played. His efforts last season helped secure a National Title for the University of Minnesota-Duluth and he followed that up with a great campaign. Swayman was a brick wall in net for the University of Maine and managed to record a 2.07 GAA and a .939 SV%. If Swayman wins the Hobey Baker Award, he will be the first goaltender to win the award since Ryan Miller won the award in 2001.


Collegiate Players Who Signed With NHL Clubs


Once the collegiate season concluded, quite a few college hockey prospects signed entry-level contracts. Below, you can find a complete list of each college hockey signing. I have added each prospect’s pNHLe, so you can extrapolate each prospect’s points from college hockey play and project how many points they would earn at the NHL level. 


Alex Turcotte was selected 5th overall in the 2019 Draft by the Kings


In addition, several of these prospects have an asterisk next to their name, which means that they were an undrafted free agent. Every year, there a bunch of undrafted college players that end up signing professional contracts. In the past, several undrafted college players have made it to the NHL and had long careers.